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Ford recalls 113,000 of its F-150 pickups over rollaway risk

Ford has issued a recall that applies to 113,000 examples of the F-150 built between the 2021 and 2023 model years. The pickups included in the campaign can lose power to the rear wheels or roll away when parked if the rear axle's hub bolts break due to wear.

Assigned recall number 23V-896 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the recall includes 112,965 units of the F-150 built between January 28, 2020, and December 25, 2022, though Ford estimates that the defect is present in 2% of the recalled trucks. It adds that only trucks built with the Trailer Tow Max Duty Package and a 9.75-inch heavy-duty axle with a 3/4 float axle design are affected.

The model year breakdown is as follows:

  • 54,509 units in the 2021 model year.

  • 47,886 units in the 2022 model year.

  • 10,570 units in the 2023 model year.

Ford explains that "the rear axle hub bolt may break due to fatigue" and "no longer prevent micro-movement between the hub splines and the axle shaft splines." These movements gradually strip the hub splines, especially when corrosion enters the equation, and affected trucks can roll away when parked if the driver doesn't engage the electronic parking brake. Trucks with stripped hub splines can also lose power to the rear wheels. Four-wheel-drive models become front-wheel-drive in this scenario, but rear-wheel-drive pickups become no-wheel-drive.

The company notes that a clicking noise indicates the rear axle's hub bolt has come loose, while a rattling noise indicates it's broken.

Ford will begin notifying owners of affected trucks by mail on January 29, 2024, but there's a catch: It hasn't found a solution yet. Owners will receive a letter informing them that an investigation is ongoing and that they'll receive more details when they become available. Motorists who experience a hub bolt failure before the company finds a solution to the problem will be asked to take their truck to a Ford or Lincoln dealer for an interim repair, and those who have already paid to get the issue fixed will be able to claim a refund before February 23, 2024.

This was Ford's 55th and final recall of 2023. The brand recalled nearly 5.7 million vehicles last year, a big improvement compared to 2022's figure of over 8.7 million cars, and the Blue Oval states that it remains serious about identifying and fixing quality-related problems. 

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